Royal Mail ‘historic advance’ in work-life balance


Around 120,000 Royal Mail workers will benefit from a one-hour reduction or equivalent benefit to their working week from Monday morning.

The reduction, is the first stage of a scheduled flight path from 39-hour to a 35-hour working week and is a key element of the ground-breaking Four Pillars of Security national agreement.

“This move from 39 to 35 hours is probably the largest-scale shorter working week reduction agreement since the engineering unions moved down from 39 to 37.5 hours back in the 1990s, so it’s a hugely significant moment,” said CWU deputy general secretary postal Terry Pullinger.

The agreement to gradually reduce duty hours is our response to anticipate the impact of the fourth industrial revolution in respect of new technologies and protect jobs whilst also protecting this great public service. We are also carrying operation trials, which are aimed at increasing workplace efficiency so that there is no detrimental impact on customers and Royal Mail’s modernisation is advanced with mutual interest.

“While the reducing working week meets our members’ needs in terms of work/life balance, the methods trials in place in delivery offices and the piloting auto hours data capture and other initiatives are ensuring that our quality of service to the public is not only maintained but improved further,” Terry explained.

The union and the company have issued a detailed joint statement on the hour’s reduction, which sets out the specific arrangements in terms of duty scheduling and pay issues – which differ in some areas.

“Basically, the internal PSP system and various deployment variations – and of course the huge scale of this change – mean that some pay-related issues will be implemented immediately, while others will have to wait until the end October.

“And please contact your local CWU representative with any further enquiries.”


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